Special Award recipients honoured at 19th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day

Special Award recipients honoured at 19th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day

Special Award recipients honoured at 19th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day


Design Indaba founder Ravi Naidoo, First National Bank, and the United States Embassy have all been honoured with Special Awards at the 19th Annual BASA Awards, partnered by Hollard and Business Day.

These awards are selected by Business and Arts South Africa (BASA) Board of Directors and celebrate remarkable contributions by individuals, businesses, and organisations to the sustainability of South Africa’s arts. The awards further the core goals of BASA’s strategy: to act as a change-maker, and to facilitate connectivity and sustainability through robust and ongoing research and diverse public, private and civil society programmes.

Ravi Naidoo was named this year’s Art Champion, while the Chairman’s Premier Award went to First National Bank (FNB) for the FNB Joburg Art Fair. The United States (US) Embassy was honoured with the Diplomacy in the Arts Award for their support of the Market Theatre.

“This year’s Special Awards winners really are powerful endorsements of the ability of individuals, businesses and other organisations to make an impact on South Africa’s arts community, and highlight the extensive work that BASA is doing in creating exciting and innovative partnerships,” said Kwanele Gumbi, Chairman of the BASA Board. “We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations and deep appreciation to all three recipients for their role in arts sustainability across South Africa.”

The Diplomacy in the Arts award is given in recognition of Foreign Missions that contribute to the development and preservation of the arts in South Africa, as well as the continued prioritisation of cultural diplomacy between South Africa and the international community.  Through its Cultural Affairs Office in the Public Affairs Section, the US Embassy offers cultural and arts programmes that are designed to enhance mutual understanding between the people of SA and the USA. In particular, the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world.


The Market Theatre has had a long association with the US Embassy. Over the past few years, under the Ambassadorship of Patrick Gaspard, it has been a generous supporter of the Market Theatre Foundation in particular and the arts in general. Financial grants have enabled the Market Theatre to carry out work at professional, student and community level and encourage the development of new young audiences through its support of the youth. Among recent projects supported by embassy grants were five professional productions (The Brothers Size, The Mountain Top, Ketekang, I Almost Remember and A Raisin in the Sun); a live performance of the multi award winning saxophonist, McCoy Mrubata, on International Jazz Day; first and second-year training of 33 students in the performing arts at the Market Laboratory’s Drama School; and the community theatre-based Zwakala Festival.

Art Champion recipient Ravi Naidoo is the founder of Interactive Africa and Design Indaba. Naidoo created Design Indaba in 1995 as a way to celebrate the creative potential of the new, post-apartheid South Africa and share this with the world. He also sought to educate South Africans by inviting the world’s leading designers in every field to South Africa to engage with design projects. The annual international event has grown to become the world’s leading design conference and has attracted much international attention to outstanding South African talent. Design Indaba has been recognised as having a positive effect on the South African design economy, with initiatives that accelerate and mentor emerging creatives. Naidoo was also the catalyst behind Woolworths and the Western Cape Government of Education creating a design syllabus at school level.

The Chairman’s Premier Award is made at the discretion of the Chairman of BASA and recognises sustained and extraordinary commitment to the arts in South Africa.  This year’s recipient is FNB for the FNB Joburg Art Fair, which they created in 2008 in partnership with Artlogic. Now it is Africa’s leading art fair focused on contemporary art from the continent and diaspora, and each year record sales and visitor numbers reinforce the demand for an event where the continent’s artists, curators, collectors and enthusiasts can congregate. Having just wrapped up its ninth iteration, the FNB Joburg Art Fair continues to strengthen this position by presenting the finest contemporary African art alongside memorable exhibitions and groundbreaking initiatives. These include a series of curated special projects, a VIP Programme that has hosted top international curators and directors from institutions like The Tate Modern, Venice Biennale, Centre Pompidou and CCA Lagos, as well as a Talks Programme that invites art-world figures, philosophers, and critical theorists to deliver key-note lectures and participate in panel discussions. The FNB Joburg Art Fair now also includes a programme of collateral events that take place throughout Johannesburg, with galleries, museums, arts organisations and artists collaborating to create a public focus on the city’s art scene.

The members of the BASA Board are Kwanele Gumbi (Chairman),Herman Bosman, Richard Cock, Michelle Constant, Mandla Langa, Hilton Lawler, Andre Le Roux, Khanyi Mamba, Gianni Mariano, Dorothea Moors, Carel Nolte, Mandie van der Spuy, Matthew van der Want, and Gail Walters.

About BASA:

Business and Arts South Africa (NPC) is an internationally recognised South African development agency with a suite of integrated programmes implemented nationally and internationally. BASA encourages mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts, securing the future development of the arts sector in South Africa and contributing to corporate success through Shared Value. BASA was founded in 1997 as a joint initiative of the Department of Arts and Culture and the business sector as a public/private partnership. For more information on BASA contact us on 011 447 2289 or visit our website: www.basa.co.za

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